|Place: San Francisco, California.|
Date: june 25 - july 3, 1999.
Spectateurs: 270 000.
|4 groupes de 5 riders avec 3 qualifiés pour les finales.
ESPN decided to televise a record breaking 15 minutes of flatland since they usually only show about 5 minutes.
Ride BMX US november 1999: At the end of '98, pro rider Scott Powell came up with a new fiatland contest format where the riders would be broken into groups of five with the top two from each group moving on to the next round. All of the riders were told that if they had any other ideas they should talk to Scott or Matt to help make the contests better. Not too many riders seemed psyched on the format, but no one came up with any other ideas, either.
So that brings us to the X Games. When you've got twenty of the best flatland riders in the world and $13,OOO for first place, you want to put on the best comp possible, but things got hectic real quick. During one of the first qualifying rounds, Steve Mulder got third, which meant he didn't qualify for the next round. When that was announced, all the flatlanders started going nuts. Mulder walked up to the judges looking for an explanation, and then Phil Dolan (who had also gotten third in his group) went up to the judges and started cussing them out. Since all of the riders seemed to agree that Mulder should have made the cut, Matt decided to modify the format so that three riders from each group advanced. Making a change like that in the middle of a contest makes you look pretty unprofessianal to ESPN, but since the riders agreed thal the judging was off, Matt made the change and then even more riders started complaining. The contest drug on (painfully) after that, and in the end, Trevor Meyer won, with two of the riders who did the most camplaining in second and third. Everyone else, including the staff, went home pissed.
As things stand right now, the future of flatland in B.S. comps is up in the air. At the next event, the flatland riders are going to do everything from deciding on the best format to picking all of the judges. This means they should either be happy with the result, or they will have only themselves to blame. Hopefully they can came up with a system that works or flatland at ESPN comps may disappear. It's pretty much for the riders to decide now.
Brett Downs, www.vintagebmx.com, july 2005: Perry Mervar wanted to be in the x games so he got a bike, toured for GT and did it. Nice job achieving a goal. His runs were straight outta '90 with almost nothing new. A lot of riders got mad at him for doing his old stuff but he did do hard tricks with a confident flair even if it wasn't the most current stuff. More importantly, he rode his style. Just because the times had changed around him didn't mean that he couldn't ride the way he always had. I was glad to hang out with him again and happy for his success. Perry is a great guy and his wife was very nice too. I don't even need to speak about his riding. He is a friend of the Hoods and well respected.
Ron Buck, www.expn.com: To the untrained eye, the flatland bicycle stunt competition may seem a little out of place on Pier 30. There aren't any high-flying tricks. The competition isn't about going the fastest. Medics are seldom called into action. A screaming announcer and the blaring music are about the only aspects of this usually serene form of bike riding that can be connected with the X Games. In fact, if these riders had their way they'd do their thing in a soundproof booth -- blocking out the rest of the world as they perform their highly-technical maneuvers in deep concentration. For the first five days of X Games V, a few spectators would usually stop for a few minutes to watch the flatlanders practice on their own little corner of the pier. But with the skateboarders, bike vert riders and Moto X guys doing their high-flying acts just a few feet away, it was easy to overlook the graceful artists of the X Games. Wednesday, however, Pier 30 was the flatlanders' stage. And for six hours in front of an enthusiastic crowd, riders displayed how 'extreme' can be just as easily expressed in a subtle form of bike riding. "I think we fit in with the X Games. Look at the crowd, everybody seems to be into it. It may not be so death-defying like the ramps, but at least it's a lot more technical," said Trevor Meyer, who emerged from 20 flatlanders to win his third straight X Games gold medal. "The tricks are extremely technical. You'll spend hours, months and even years to pull off some of these tricks. It takes a lot of dedication. "Even the ramp riders say it's harder than what they are doing. You know it's a tough sport when they say that." The tricks Meyer, silver medalist Phil Dolan and bronze medalist Nathan Penonzek have perfected are those normally seen at halftime shows of NBA games. Riders are usually balancing on one wheel -- and not always the back wheel -- while using a variety of hand holds and spinning tricks. "I don't know this definition of 'extreme' is just like, a little bit generalistic," said Dolan, who lives in Bath, Great Britain. "(Flatland) is extreme in terms of the skill level and this level of riding under pressure. It's all about concentration, skill, timing and originality. Your personality has to come through in your riding. "It's actually the discipline you have to put the most practice into. It's quite normal for riders to put five to 10 hours of solid practice in a day. "You don't hurt yourself necessarily as much in terms of learning tricks, but it can be the most frustrating style of riding." That frustration can last for years, which is why most of the flatland riders who competed Wednesday were in their late 20s. The one exception to this rule has been 20-year-old Penonzek, who won his first X Games medal after two straight fourth-place finishes as a teen-ager. But Penonzek's concentration level is what allows him to excel at an early age. He was so focused this year that when asked to recall some of his best tricks he drew a blank. "I honestly can't remember my runs, like most riders," Penonzek said. "I know I pulled a few things I wanted to do and missed some things I wanted to pull. "I think the easiest way for me (to concentrate) is to have fun. If I'm having fun at a contest I seem to do better. If I'm shaking and tense, obviously it affects my riding because that's not how I ride at home. I don't ride shaking and nervous at home. If I try to make it fun, it relaxes me." And relaxation is what flatlanders need most to be successful. It's not unusual to see a rider with headphones and a CD player in his back pocket while competing. "Some people see this as not being difficult, but most of the ramp riders will look at flatland and say, 'Damn, I could never do that,'" Penonzek said. "I think the difficulty of flatland makes it an extreme sport." And nobody was more extreme than Meyer in the final. After a long day of riding under the sun and unseasonable high temperatures in San Francisco, Meyer saved some of his best tricks for his final three 45-second runs. Meyer's three final runs included tricks such as the "elephant grind," which involves standing on the front wheel and pumping the wheel around in a circle with his foot, while also spinning the bike's frame around his body. He also did an "undertaker," wrapping the bike under his body as he switch his feet from the front to back pegs, and Meyer then did the ever-popular upside down "spastic wheelie." Meyer, who performed during halftime of Game 4 of the NBA Finals in New York last week, said he was most impressed by his ability to pull off a "dump truck turbine" during his second run. It's better to let Meyer explain that one. "It's when the bike is up on its back wheel and I'm straddling the front wheel. I then turbine it forward and backward and forward with no hands. It's really hard and an original trick. The 6-foot-2 Meyer, who rides a bigger bike than most riders because of his height, was clearly the most innovative during his three runs. But that is nothing new for the only rider to ever win gold at the X Games in flatland. "I figured the finals were a time to step it and give it all I had," Meyer said. "It's harder actually each year because you have more expectations from people who expect you to win. I definitely try to make (each run) harder. I want to do different tricks to impress the judges and the crowd. Doing the same thing over and over gets boring I think. "I'm just glad to take the gold medal, wow it's unbelievable. I'm just trying to keep up with Dave Mirra." Mirra won his third straight bicycle vert final Tuesday night.
Alexandre Jumelin. Photo by Effraim Catlow.
FLATLAND 1.Trevor Meyer $13,000; 2.Phil Dolan $7,000; 3.Nathan Penonzec $5,000; 4.Michael Steingraber $3,000; 5.Andrew Farris $2,000; 6.Day Smith $1,500; 7.Effraim Catlow $1,000; 8.Jason Brown $900; 9.Alexandre Jumelin $800; 10.Arthur Thomason $700; 11.Sean Peters; 12.Steve Mulder; 13.Gabe Weed; 14.Dan Rigby; 15.Scott Powell; 16.Matt Gipson; 17.Perry Mervar; 18.Aaron Behnke; 19.Martti Kuoppa; 20.Chad Degroot
Steve Mulder. Photo by Josh Root.
|Entirely new street course whith plenty of wedges , and a wooden rythm section.
Mike rooftop Escamilla spent half of one run trying to do a no-handed backflip over the box.
Ruben Alcantara downside tailwhip over the rail.
Chad Kagy did the biggest transfer of the comp.
Ryan Nyquist rentre un flip avec deux tours de guidon pour la 5ème place.
Dave Mirra was proud to pull a One footed x-up backflip and crashed on a handrail to one hander lander but got first.
Daniel Dodd, www.expn.com: Make it nine ... and most likely counting. That's how many X Games medals Dave Mirra now has after his gold-medal performance Saturday afternoon at the bicycle stunt street finals. Mirra is the most decorated X Games athlete to date with seven gold medals and two silvers. Mirra, 25, has won the street event every year since it was introduced in 1996. And he doesn't show any signs of letting up. Mirra's first run, in which he pulled out some new tricks, set the crowd into a frenzy. He performed a flurry of tricks including an X-up on the vert wall, a no-handed 360, and an amazing one-footed X-up backflip that lead to a final score of 92.9 and yet another gold medal. "My first run went exactly how I wanted," Mirra said. "That one-footed X-up back flip, I was pretty psyched about landing that one." In his second run, despite coming close to crashing on a 360 transfer, Mirra continued to dazzle the crowd. He managed to land a tailwhip 360, a truckdriver and a no-handed to no-footed back flip. But afterwards, he was still psyched about his first-round performance. "That first run, I couldn't top it again if I tried," he says. Right behind Mirra, with a score of 90.20, was the "Canadian Beast" Jay Miron. Miron ignited the crowd with a first run that included a string of aerials and a superman tailwhip. He finished second to Mirra for the third time in four years. "I'm pretty happy with my run," Miron said. "My main goal out here was to just have fun." California native Chad Kagy, turned in a solid performance to claim the bronze medal with a score of 86.7. Mirra will now turn his attention to the vert competition in which he has won two consecutive gold medals. Practice starts Sunday, followed by the preliminaries on Monday and the final on Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. PT.
STREET 1.Dave Mirra $13,000; 2.Jay Miron $7,000; 3.Chad Kagy $5,000; 4.Dave Voelker $3,000; 5.Ryan Nyquist $2,000; 6.Colin MacKay $1,500; 7.Ruben Alcantara $1,000; 8.Rob Nolli $900; 9.Joey Garcia $800; 10.Josh Heino $700
|The wind was blowing force 8 during dirt jump finals.
Van Homan jumped the rail from the deck of the starting hill.
Ron Buck, www.expn.com: "The show must go on." That was the motto Saturday afternoon for the bicycle dirt jumpers who braved 27 mph wind gusts on the end of Pier 30. And while the wind may have won most of the battles against the bikes, the X Games won the three-day war with Mother Nature on the final day of competition. It wasn't the most artistic display of bike dirt jumping. In fact, you almost felt sorry for the guys perched up on top of the 30-foot roll-in as the wind howled into San Francisco Bay. But somebody was going to win amid the chaos and bailouts. That somebody turned out to be T.J. Lavin, who took his second dirt jumping gold in three years. Last year's gold medalist Brian Foster took silver, while Ryan Nyquist backed up last year's silver with bronze near his hometown of Los Gatos, Calif. "I never thought you could win the X Games doing just a tailwhip, an X-out 360 and Superman seat grab," said Lavin, referring to the three tricks he landed before falling on his fourth and final run. "But it happened and I'm really happy I stayed consistent. "I would have liked to see it come down to perfect runs for everybody, and no wind involved and no bad jumps. But the conditions were the same for everybody. It was mostly luck, if you got a chance to go when there was no wind you could do something a little better." The prelims where ultimately scratched after being postponed Friday night due to high winds. The competition became a 20-rider final, with each competitor getting four attempts, but only their best three jumps counting toward their final score. Riders tried to do their usual assortment of 360-tail whips, back flips and combinations off the two biggest jumps on the left side of course. But it became clear early that the headwind was going to make stringing tricks together impossible. The key to the event became getting enough speed down the 55-degree roll-in to do something simple on the first jump and then get fancy on the second jump. Lavin was the first rider to figure this out, taking the lead with a score of 88.40 on his first jump with a tail whip. He then put a new trick on the end of each of his next two attempts, each of which scored in the 80's for an average of 86.67 heading into his final jump. Foster took a different route each time, instead opting for the center jump first, but then transferring over to the left side of the course in the air for his second jump. He was the only rider successfully transferring from the center jump to the left side of the course to pull off tricks. The judges rewarded him with an average score of 86.27 heading into the fourth round. With less than a half-point separating gold and silver going into the final jump, Lavin tried to seal things with a 360 tail whip to climax his day. But he couldn't find his pedals in the wind and bailed out. "I've just learned that trick at Woodward (Skate Park) with the boys. I've really got that trick dialed, but I cased the first set a little bit and the wind was blowing like crazy," Lavin said. "I knew it was then all up to 'The Falcon.'" The door was indeed open for Foster, a.k.a. "The Falcon," to defend his gold. But the wind kicked up just as Foster took off down the ramp and he never got enough speed to make his transfer to the left side of the course. "I was trying to do the same thing as my third run, but with a lot more tricks. A big transfer and then a good 360-trick, but it never got that far. I missed the roll-in. I didn't have the speed. I knew as soon as I hit backside (on the ramp), I didn't have the speed. "The conditions were rough, a lot of it had to do with luck and how much wind you got in your run." Nyquist vaulted 10 spots from 13th to the bronze via the best jump of the competition. The Northern California native, who now lives with Dave Mirra in Greenville, N.C., did an X-out off the first jump and then a huge 360 with a bar spin that earned a score of 90.00. "I just went for it and said, 'Whatever man, I've got nothing to lose,'" Nyquist said. "I crashed my first two jumps. I just had to do what I had do, and went out there and did it. Conditions were horrible. You just can't deal with (this wind) in dirt jumping, especially being 30 feet up (on a roll-in). "It was all luck. If you got no wind, you were psyched."
|DIRT 1.TJ Lavin 2.Brian Foster 3.Ryan Nyquist 4.Jerry Bagley 5.Mike Parenti 6.Chris Duncan 7.Matt Beringer 8.Chad Kagy 9.Joey Garcia 10.Van Homan 11.Chris Doyle 12.Cory Nastazio|
|Wind blowing like crazy.
Leigh Ramsdell didn't make the finals but went for a half-barspin flip to fakie.
Jay Miron pulled a 540 tailwhip coming in with a good pump and 540 turndown.
Ryan Nyquist did a one footed x-up 540 for his last trick. Mat Hoffman's Condorbike got stolen and rode the contest on a "out of the box new Condor". No hand to no foot 540, huge airs, giant flair attempt.
Kevin Robinson pulled his first flair in a contest almost to pegstall but pulled it.
Simon Tabron did the two best spinning tricks of the contest with an alley oop 540 and a perfectly pulled 900.
Dave Mirra was doing his just learned x-up 540, no handed 540 and crazy looking superman seat grabs.
Ron Buck, www.expn.com: Someday, someone else beside Dave Mirra will win X Games gold in bicycle vert. It just won't be in the 90's. Mirra closed out the decade the way Matt Hoffman started it, which seemed only appropriate since Hoffman was Tuesday night's competition. Connecting tricks flawlessly as only he can, Mirra won his third straight X Games vert title and eighth gold medal overall. Mirra has won four straight street golds and combined with Dennis McCoy to win last year's X Games vert doubles. Jay Miron finished second to Mirra for the second time in four days on Pier 30. The "Canadian Beast" had the biggest tricks of the night -- including a 540-tail whip -- but couldn't match Mirra's consistency over two runs. Miron also took silver on the street. England's Simon Tabron pulled off the only successful 900 of the night and took bronze back to his Liverpool home. But just like in San Diego, it was Mirra's show in San Francisco. His double-gold performance was his third straight sweep of vert and street at the X Games. And with two silvers to go along with his gold, Mirra now owns 10 X Games medals -- by far the most of any athlete in the event's history. "Winning gold never gets old. Winning (the X Games) is the biggest accomplishment right now anybody can have in this sport," Mirra said. "I'm on a streak right now, but it can end any time I guess. I'm just going to try to ride my best and come back every year and do the best I can." Oddly enough, Mirra didn't think he rode his best Tuesday night. An overflow crowd and the judges, however, couldn't find any faults in his two rides. Mirra earned an average score of 91.90 and twice landed his trademark spinning flair toward the end of his runs. His only noticeable flaw came on a high-risk backflip nobody was able to land to end his first run. Mirra over-rotated the trick just a bit and tumbled to the bottom of the halfpipe unharmed. His second run was flawless. Mirra started the run with one-handed, no-handed and X-out aerials. He then did a few bar-spin moves before launching into a 540 X-out. Then came Mirra's work on the coping -- both front-side and back-side -- before pulling out a tail whip and another flair to end his run. "I didn't feel like I rode my best, but I guess the judges did, so I'm happy," Mirra said. "I guess I shouldn't stress out so much and just ride my best and try not to worry so much about competition. It's just natural, as a human, when you are in a contest like this you have to do in that minute-thirty, you don't have another chance, you can't take another run. You got to do it." Consistency counted at the end, as Mirra won in part to his two runs over 90. Miron put together the highest-scoring run of the night (93.20), but problems on his first run resulted in an 85.60 and average score of 89.40. Miron's attacking style may have cost him gold, but it was a hit with the fans. Along with being the only rider to pull off the 540 tail whip, Miron also wowed the crowd with a huge Superman seat grab and some of the highest tricks out of the halfpipe of the night. "Too little, too late. I was so embarrassed (of the first run), I had to try it to save face," said Miron, who won both X Trials in vert heading into San Francisco. "The second run was fine, but I'm capable of so more than the first run. I just got stiff. It's really lame. I do that in big contests, I don't know why. I did it last year and now I did again this year. "I screwed up, what can you do. I don't come here looking for silver, I came here looking to win and it's a real bummer when that happens. Take nothing away from Dave -- Dave rules. Dave is the pro, he's that much better than me. He steps it up when it counts." While the Thunder Bay, Ontario-born Miron was more than a little disappointed he didn't win, Tabron was thrilled to be taking home his second straight X Games bronze in vert. He rode injured in the finals after tweaking his left shoulder and knee in qualifying Monday. "I was a bit smashed up from qualifying, I wasn't sure I was going to ride," said Tabron, who rode last year in San Diego with a broken rib. "But I figured I had nothing to lose. That '900' is my saving grace. It's not an easy trick, so I'll take it. A little 'Lady Luck.'" Dennis McCoy took fourth after taking a nasty fall attempting a '900.' McCoy rode despite an injury to his wrist that kept him out of the street competition. The feel-good story of the night belonged to Hoffman, however, who wound up seventh, but was just happy to be back riding competitively on his bike. "The Condor" held nothing back despite recent knee surgery, falling hard attempting a flair to end his second run. "It was just fun to be out there again," said Hoffman.
VERT 1.Dave Mirra 2.Jay Miron 3.Simon Tabron 4.Dennis McCoy 5.John Parker 6.Jamie Bestwick 7.Mat Hoffman 8.Kevin Robinson 9.Ryan Nyquist 10.Jason Davies